Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sharing on 2nd Life & Pedagogical Benefits (10 Sep 2008)

by AP Kenneth Lim (from Learning Sciences & Technology, NIE)

After almost 45 minutes into the session, the 6-step framework finally emerged...
(Click HERE to see slides for more information)
They are:

  1. Learning by Exploring: Learning is a result of in-world explration, which can be structured or otherwise; through the interaction (including viewing) installations, communications and landscapes
  2. Learning by Collaborating: Learning as a result when students work together to solve a problem or complete a task
  3. Learning by Building: Learning when students are required to create or build an object in-world; or even to script (ie. involve certain degree of programming)
  4. Learning by Being: This includes role-play - being part of the world, taking a role and perform certain duties with respect to the role one plays
  5. Learning by Championing
  6. Learning by Expressing

Did not quite get #5 and #6... (hahaha... maybe my attention was drifting to somewhere else... also trying to filter what I want to catch)

Hm... Learning by Expressing... I suppose, one way to look at it is... the learner expresses him/herself through the objects constructed/built in the world - thoughts, creativity, etc... (Ah! This is especially great for those who think alot but talk little...)

As of Learning by championing... perhaps it's where the in-world provides the environment or opportunity for one to learn to advocate what one seldom has a chance to do in real world (or it's already done by someone else???)

Admit that #4, #5 & #6 are less straightforward... er... more chim... and therefore more challenging to comprehend.

I thought the demo is certainly more useful... and helps to bring out some of the benefits using 2nd life for teaching & learning:

  • I like the one on getting the learner to walk on the mountain to draw out the land contour of certain regions (at a range of heights). I thought that was powerful! It's experiential learning that get students to "feel and experience to believe!"
  • Simulated environment for various weather conditions. Thought this was good... when it is possible to have the weather of 2 different places to 'appear' at the same place... that allows one to compare and contrast... better still, it actually draws data from the real weather websites! It's authentic data being used in a simulated environment. This allows students to carry out some comparative studies. Of course, one would argue that we can just pick up static data from websites... but to make it more realistic and make sense to one, it helps when they see the actual weather condition themselves!
  • The construction of building gives an idea how Mathematics can come in... perhaps on how to maximise a piece of land (given the land area the building has and greatest height the building can go up to). Next, it could be add-on tasks like, how much carpet is needed to cover certain rooms in the building, etc... calculation of area of regular/irregular shapes come in! Then costing, etc... On the other hand, it seems to land itself just on "application" of skills here!
  • Another idea I could think of is... using the various objects created, it helps students to visualise the various views of an object - elevated view, plan view, etc... pretty good for the maths topic on this, as well as D&T.

Well, all in all, there are potential areas for use in T&L, however, it also depends on how well verse we are in the environment... or how familiar we are in the environment before we can start thinking how the environment value-adds to the learners' experiences.

Useful links:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

EZ Maths Symposium 2008

@ Tao Nan School on 5 September 2008
Opening address by Mr Gan CH (DD/East)

Key emphasis: Reflective Practice

  • Open-mindedness - the willingness to listen to different perspectives
  • Responsibility - mindful of the consequences of our action
  • Wholeheartedness

He also shared some kind points from a research paper published by QCA recently, pointing out the findings on what inspires/motivates learners

  • What motivates... when learners ahve the desire to use what they have learnt actively and creatively
  • What inspires... the passion of the teacher
  • What inspires... when they have the opportunity to use ICT - they enjoy the interactivity and creative potential of technology
  • What motivates... challenging yet achievable tasks

Interestingly, Mr Gan brought the audience's attention to a TV series that anchors on the use of Mathematics to solve cases!

Read more about NUMB3RS

another book: Elemetary & Middle School Maths - Teaching Developmnetally


Talk by Helmer Aslaksen (

- well-known for his study of the different kinds of calendars found in Singapore (Chinese, Muslim, Indian)

Appreciate & Question; Connections; Relevance

  • Theory of hanging clothes to dry (half a year in the east; half a year in the west)
  • Do the hands of the clock still move clockwise if it is invented at the southern hemisphere? (hm.. mind provoking...)
  • Do Chinese celebrate "Lunar New Year"... or should Chinese celebrate "Lunisolar New Year"? hahaha!!!
  • Winter solstice; Summar solstice; Equinox
  • Flowering time for Plants in Singapore
  • The Singapore Flag - the crescent and the look of the stars